Oregon’s NW Natural: On July 29, 2020, NW Natural, the largest natural gas utility in Oregon, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable natural gas (RNG) procurement. The RFP follows the adoption of final rules for 2019’s Oregon Senate Bill 98, which established a pathway for natural gas utilities in Oregon to procure RNG for their customers. Responses are due September 4, 2020.
“NW Natural invites RNG project owners, developers, and other interested stakeholders to respond to its RFP for the delivery of RNG, as both a bundled and unbundled product,” says Anna Chittum, NW Natural’s Director of Renewable Resources. “This means RNG can be delivered directly to NW Natural customers via pipeline, or can be delivered via a transaction for the environmental attributes only. This RFP seeks RNG resources from around the country, from a wide variety of feedstocks, and includes renewable hydrogen resources.”
Senate Bill 98 is the first-of-its-kind law in the nation, according to the NW Natural RFP. It establishes voluntary volumetric targets for procurement of RNG. By 2045, the law sets a target of 30% of all the gas delivered to NW Natural customers in Oregon to be renewable. The rules implementing Senate Bill 98 are established and overseen by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, including limits on total expenditures for RNG and the overall rate impact to customers.
NY State Solicitation: In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the largest single renewable energy solicitation to ever be put forth in the United States, according to the American Biogas Council (ABC), providing “an incredible funding opportunity for biogas producers that can deliver energy to the New York State electric grid.” The solicitation was issued by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). It calls for 4,000 megawatts of renewable capacity in total, 1,500 MW of which is designated for land based large-scale renewable energy projects — including biogas from landfills and anaerobic digesters.
The land-based renewable solicitation is split into two categories: projects being procured by NYSERDA and those being procured by NYPA. NYSERDA’s portion calls for the development of Tier-1 eligible renewable energy projects that will generate 1.6 million MWh or more annually. NYPA’s solicitation is limited to only wind and solar projects. Any project that can be certified as a Tier 1 renewable technology and entered operation after January 1, 2015 or by November 30, 2022, with the option for extensions to November 30, 2025 that meets the kWh goal is eligible. The following types of biogas development projects qualify as Tier 1 energy sources, and are therefore eligible for the NYSERDA solicitation, notes ABC:
- Biogas-electricity projects using anaerobic digestion, if they use one of the following feedstocks: animal waste (manure), agricultural by-products, food processing residue, or wastewater.
- Biogas-electricity projects using landfill gas produced on-site for use in internal combustion engine gensets, fuel cells, or other fueled gensets.
- A renewable electricity generating project using renewable pipeline gas (RPG) must satisfy a number of criteria, including that the common carrier RPG resources shall be considered eligible only if sourced and used in the same state to generate power delivered to New York.
The solicitation (RESRFP20-1) will be implemented through a two-step process, consisting of:
1) Step One Eligibility Application: A qualifying step through which the Proposer must provide evidence that the Bid Facility is Tier 1 eligible and other general information about the Proposer and the Bid Facility
2) Step Two Bid Proposal: A competitive Bid Proposal step, through which NYSERDA will:
- Examine Bid Proposals to determine whether they demonstrate that the Bid Facility and Proposer meet the Project Viability Minimum Threshold Requirements
- For Bid Proposals that meet those minimum requirements, a competitive evaluation based on price and non-price factors.
NYSERDA opened the Step One Eligibility Application on August 5, 2020 Applications must be received by NYSERDA by 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 27, 2020 via electronic submission. For applicants accepted for Step Two, Bid Proposals must be received by NYSERDA by 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 via electronic submission.